ODROID-H2 is ready to order.
Product Page: https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-h2/
WiKi Page: https://wiki.odroid.com/odroid-h2/
This thread is locked because new H2 sub-forum is available now.
Feel free to post any question or idea.
As you all know, we do not disclose our products until it reaches a certain stage.
The N1 was the only one that we dropped after the official announcement. Behind, we had quite some projects attempted, incomplete or dropped.
Today, I would like to reveal one Intel platform, H2, which will be available in November. Why it is not H or H1? It is our 3rd X86 platform. We kicked off the first x86 project in 2015.
Here are advantages that encourage us to start x86 platforms as well as the ARM architecture.
x86(x64) platform has very decent Linux software support
- The latest Kernel 4.18 perfectly works out of the box (Today’s Ubuntu 18.10)
- Modern OpenGL 4.5, OpenCL 2.0, Wayland and Vulkan GPU drivers are working via standard Mesa library.
- MPEG2/MPEG4/H.264/H.265/VP8/VP9 HW video decoder & encoder works with VAAPI standard.
x86(x64) platform has very strong hardware interfaces
- Dual channel 64bit DRAM interfaces for much faster data processing
- Multiple video outputs
- Multiple PCIe lanes
- Multiple USB 3.0/2.0 root hubs
- Multiple Ethernet ports
- Multiple SATA ports
HISTORY OF PROJECT
We started to develop the first x86 based ODROID board with Intel Cherry Trail x5-Z8500 2.2Ghz CPU which was supposed to be the ODROID-H.
In 2015 and 2016, there were several single board computers in the market using Intel x5-Z8300 1.8Ghz Quad-core CPU from other manufacturers.
We saw significant performance difference on Z8500 2.2Ghz. It was in a different category.
After 3 months of schematics and PCB design, we started manufacturing process. We faced a big issue that Z8500 had a very fine pitch of BGA which raised PCB cost and manufacturing cost twice more than expected.
Think that Z8300 had 592 pins while Z8500 had 1380 pins. LPDDR3 RAM sourcing was another big hurdle. Z8300 supported a normal DDR3 while Z8500 supported only LPDDR3 which was much more expensive with very long lead time.
Z8500 CPU itself was very competitive. But, it was not competitive enough when it was turned out the final products.
We started another x86 board design with Intel Braswell N3160 CPU.
From the previous lesson, the second development was faster and more successful. This time, we made a project name as ‘ODROID-H1’.
We made the first engineering sample in February 2017 with 8GB onboard DDR3 memory.
ODROID-H1 was used for a dedicated project and the result was quite successful.
But the next generation Intel CPU Apollo Lake was already available in the market and we thought Braswell was not competitive in the generic SBC market.
Additionally, the 1GB DDR3 chip shortage problem also blocked the launching of the H1 model.
We considered AMD Ryzen 5 2500U 3.5Ghz mobile processor. The performance was very impressive, but the price of the CPU was also very impressive.
Fortunately, Intel also announced the Gemini Lake processors. It was slower than Ryzen but much faster than Intel Apollo Lake, and the price was reasonable.
Finally, we decided to build a high-end single board computer ODROID-H2 as the following outstanding specification.
- 2.3Ghz Quad-core processor J4105 (14nm) with 4MiB Cache
- Dual-channel Memory DDR4-PC19200 (2400MT/s)
- Total 32GiB RAM Space with two SO-DIMM slots
- 4 x PCIe 2.0 for one NVMe storage
- 2 x Gbit Ethernet ports
- 2 x SATA 3.0
- SSE4.2 accelerator (SMM, FPU, NX, MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, AES)
- Intel UHD Graphics (Gen9.5) 600 (GT1) 700Mhz
- HDMI 2.0 and DP 1.2 multiple video outputs
Therefore, we started the hardware design from March 2018 and we made the first engineering samples in July.
After fixing some hardware issues, we had the second engineering samples in September. Everything went well and we could pass FCC, CE, KC and RoHS certification tests in the past few months.
We will begin mass production of ODROID-H2 within a few weeks and our first shipment will be available in late November.
ODROID-H2 includes a large heatsink, which will give you a quiet and powerful computing experience.
The size of the board is about 110x110x43mm and weighs about 320 grams including heatsink, two DRAM modules, and M.2 NVMe SSD.
ODROID-H2 Block diagram must be helpful to understand the interconnections.
Here are a few more H2 PCB pictures.
Let's look into the CPU frequency and thermal characteristics with the stock passive heatsink.
The graph below shows the result of measuring the temperature of a quad-core CPU under heavy stress for three hours.
The frequency remains at 2.3 GHz without throttling and the temperature is maintained at lower than 80°C. The ambient temperature is 25°C approx.
stress-ng --cpu 4 --cpu-method matrixprod
We measured the power consumption with an eMMC storage after booting Ubuntu 18.10.
Idle: 4Watt (Approx.)
CPU Stress: 14Watt (Approx.)
CPU+GPU Stress: 22Watt (Approx.)
Power-off: 0.5Watt (Approx.)
Suspend: 0.6Watt (Approx.)
How about the storage IO performance?
We tested eMMC, USB 3.0, SATA3 and NVMe storages with
iozone -e -I -a -s 100M -r 4k -r 16384k -i 0 -i 1 -i 2command.
It should be noted that the SSD connected to the M.2 MVMe 4-lane PCIe interface has a transfer rate of over 1.6GiB / sec.
We also measured the video transcoding performance with 4K/H.265 to 720p/H.264 test condition.
Fully hardware accelerated 4K/H.265 to 720p/H.264 video transcoding could be done with FFmpeg on VAAPI.
10 minutes of 4K/30Hz video file could be transcoded to 720p/30Hz video in 3 minutes amazingly.
We also learned when dual channel memory is configured, the transcoding performance is about 25% as fast.
Dual 4K/60Hz display output is fantastic with HDMI 2.0 and DP 1.2 ports.
HW accelerated WebGL example runs on 7680x2106 resolution.
This video shows how H2 works nicely.
Booting Ubuntu 18.10 with Kernel 4.18 from eMMC storage. (Canonical released Ubuntu 18.10 this morning!)
Run Dolphin on Ubuntu and enable Vulkan GPU driver.
We could play Wii games on ODROID-H2 smoothly.
This video must be helpful to know how ODROID-H2 is powerful.
Hardware virtualization with VT-x technology.
Windows 10 can run on Ubuntu as a guest OS. Two of four CPU cores and 4GB of 8GB are assigned for the guest OS. We tested it with the recent VirtualBox.
We will check the HW 3D/2D acceleration performance on the guest OS later.
ODROID-H2 price will be officially announced next month when it starts selling.
It must be higher than US$100 though.
Where is ODROID-N2?
When we gave up the poor N1, the N2(based on ARM Cortex A73) was already on the way from May. So far, it is working great at evaluation sample stage.
But, we still need some more time to check hardware and software stability. We will announce at the forum first as soon as it is available for public open.
We expect to be able to enjoy the N2 board party together soon.
N2 is not a FAKE.